2022_1 | Craft Studios

C6. Words & Pictures

Robin Cowcher


Studio Inquiry

This studio explores interpreting and illustrating narrative or key topics in newspaper and magazine illustration. Editorial illustration often conveys what words can't.
Core content: understanding/analysing an author’s text, identifying themes/metaphors + your own ideas/images to create meaningful illustrations through drawing, painting or collage. 
You will engage with the text, your own ideas, material thinking and historical context to create powerful images which hopefully communicate, move or surprise.
An overview and appreciation of the editorial illustration genre both current and historical is expected as part of your practice. 


This studio primarily requires you to use/explore paint, ink, pencil, collage and paper (as well as digital platforms). 
The class will be largely online but where possible we will try to meet for a workshop or a field trip.
Practical workshops in exploring ink, paint and wash + collage will precede each brief and you will be encouraged to keep a visual diary to form a basis for your SKO. Drawing and observational practice in class and in your own time to further explore the materials is a high priority and you'll be encouraged to share your work in class regularly. Reading on editorial illustration and research into current illustration practice is a core part of the semester.

Communication of knowledge

Your practice will be the basis for learning in this studio. Students can explore a range of styles and approaches to interpret their ideas. Editorial illustration can be abstract, stylised, representational, a likeness or a beautifully rendered image. Clear and creative thinking, composition, colour, technique, drawing, multiple solutions, refining and discussion will help you progress each iteration toward the final works.


Drawing! There will be lots of it + exercises in interpreting text, material thinking, guest speakers, weekly readings, class pin ups, weekly focus on an illustrator, field trips if possible, researching six illustrators, an understanding of editorial illustration and it’s context.

A series of editorial illustrations illustrating a given text (Newspaper print/online)
Magazine cover + internal illustration on a designated theme, this to be presented in actual magazine format and also uploaded.  
SKO, can be designed as a weekly journal, scrapbook, zine, graphic novel but must represent your experience, knowledge and reflections on the class. To be printed and uploaded. Any size or format. 


There are three assessment tasks, each one will contain individual milestones and will be presented to class.
Brief 01: SKO
Brief 02: Suite of illustrations 
Brief 03: Magazine cover + internal illustrations.


A selection:
The Theory of Illustration by Alan Male
The Power and Influence of Illustration by Alan Male
The Education Of An Illustrator by Marshall Arisman and Steven Heller
How To Be An Illustrator by Daryl Rees
Illustration: A Visual History by Steven Heller and Seymour Chwast
Editorial Illustration: Step by Step Techniques, a Unique Guide From the Masters by Jill Bossert
The Fundamentals of Illustration by Laurence Zeegan

Communities of Practice
Designing Identity, Designing through Image, Designing Publications

There are many ways of researching editorial illustration, Association of Illustrators, Illustrators Australia and Jacky Winter illustrator agency have many examples and The New Yorker has long championed illustration and always has an illustrated cover. The Society of Newspaper Design has strong illustrative content as does the American Illustrators Annual. World wide there are many brilliant editorial illustrators to get to know. If this is an area of illustration you are interested in I recommend an initial look online and at local magazines such as Frankie, The New Yorker, Peppermint, The Smith Journal, Lindsey Magazine, Meanjin + find some new ones!

About Robin Cowcher

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